“Three … two … one!” Carol Bloom, executive director for Congregation Beth Shalom’s preschool, shouted through the bullhorn when suddenly children began to race their way down the temporary race track made with painter’s tape that was placed on the parking lot concrete.
Children on tricycles with hot wheels, fairies, dinosaurs and flower themes tried to be the first to make it to the opposite side of the lot while quickly turning to head back the other way. Some tears were shed with small traffic collisions down the path, but they quickly went away once their parents picked them back up and helped them finish their race through words of encouragement such as “Keep going!” or “You got it!”
The Congregation Beth Shalom preschool held its 26th annual FUDGE (Fathers, Uncles, Dads, Grandfathers, and Everyone) Day on Sunday, as male figures in the children’s lives had the chance to learn more about what they’re up to every day at school.
All morning long, FUDGE attendees participated in circle time, arts and crafts, and other classroom activities to deepen their connections with their little ones and create friendships with other parents and family members, said Bloom.
Fifty families were present and children as young as 2 years old to as old as 6 were present for the eventful morning. The trike-a-thon, a tradition to close the day with smiles and laughter, had children racing their way through the tracks and then receiving a medal to commemorate the day. Mothers and fathers exchanged high-fives with their little ones, creating new memories and enjoying a day meant for family.
Jillian Griffith, pre-K schoolteacher of the past 27 years, has enjoyed witnessing the family involvement every year.
“By having the dads here in the morning to participate in the class and seeing that interaction,” said Griffith. “Normally we have moms that come in the school and help out from time to time throughout the school year. But it’s nice on this day to have dads to participate and be a part of what we do in the classroom.”
Aaron Karpman has been a part of the CSB Preschool family for three generations and on Sunday he was spending the day with his youngest, Jordan, a 2-year-old.
“That’s my third kid, so it’s sort of nostalgic,” said Karpman. “I’ve had two other kids do it before. So just watching it again, it’s kind of like sad-happy knowing it’s my last time. This is what life’s about.”